Racing AROUND Rocky

Published 15 February 2023

Racing AROUND Rocky

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That well-worn track bearing the name of the Bruce Highway awaits Callaghan Park trainers Adrian Coome and Tom Smith in the next day or so. Both trainers have runners pegged for Eagle Farm, Brisbane on Saturday. Adrian runs Top Echelon youngster Alloutatime (Kyle Wilson-Taylor) in the $137,500 QTIS 2YO Handicap (1200m) and Kings County again KW-T in the BM 72 (1400m). King’s County will carry the full 57.5kg in his assignment. Alloutatime is raced by an enthusiastic Gladstone racing syndicate headed by animal lover Sharon Thomsen of the Gladstone Turf Club. Sharon and a group pf Gladstone racing enthusiasts raced her mum Tidy Trim an Honours List mare way back winning three races with her. On the strength of her debut win at Callaghan Park on January 27, Alloutatime should win more races than Tidy Trim. 

Tom Smith celebrated his 22nd birthday with a winner for young owner Mitchell Power at Mackay on Tuesday with 2YO debutant Acres Away. Smith will start last start Callaghan Park winner Better Rain (Jim Byrne) in the $120K QTIS 3YO (1600m). Smith has elected to go with top senior jock Jim Byrne. This means Better Rain will carry the steadier of 57.5kg. One thing I have learned in Queensland racing is that it is a very, very difficult task for regional horses winning in restricted company in Brisbane under big weights. Of course, there are exceptions and I hope for their connections’ sake that King’s County and Better Rain are two more. The alternative of course in such instances is to engage a 3kg claiming apprentice. Old time racing coves like myself can attest from experience that on occasions this can turn out to be the wrong move and the equivalent of adding 5kg to the horse’s weight. It’s akin to being stuck between a hard rock and a hard place. Good luck Adrian and Tom.

The Capricornia Yearling Sale which comes up at Rockhampton on Sunday, April 2 has certainly been in the news of late. Sidestep filly Party For Two has been the headline act after a Brisbane win followed by a grand second in a Blue Diamond Prelude at Sandown last Saturday. While it is most unlikely, she will appear as a runner in the $150,000 CYS 2YO Classic (1200m) at Callaghan Park on Saturday, April 1 there can be no mistaking the fact she was offered for sale at last year’s 2022 sale. Party For Two is a daughter of the Exceed and Excel stallion Sidestep which is building quite a reputation from his home base at Telemon Thoroughbreds, Innisplain. Incidentally, there are at least two of the Sidestep breed of yearlings among a catalogue of 132 at the upcoming CYS. Just last Friday CYS graduates Track Tale (x Whittington) and Just Super (x Super One) won at Callaghan Park. Raced by Liam Goody and ‘’stolen” for just $8K at the 2022 CYS, Track Tale is now the winner of two from two and trainer Ricky Vale has quite an opinion of her. She is aimed for the CYS 2YO while Nick Walsh trained and Diplock and Green family owned Just super with three wins and as many seconds from six starts will be hot to trot in the $100K CYS 3&4YO (1300m). Then on Monday up bobbed brilliant Sebring Sun 2YO gelding Sunnycoast making a one act affair of a barrier trial at Callaghan Park. He too heads towards the 2YO Classic. Looking good for both feature races as well as the yearling sales on the following day April 2.

Speaking of the yearling sales in Rocky with the record book of 132 yearlings up for grabs, I received a very positive email from Rockhampton Jockey Club CEO Ian Mill yesterday (Tuesday). It read – “I spent the afternoon yesterday personally calling all vendors to confirm that their nominated horses were still heading to the Capricorn Sales -they all are”. `I can understand why it took Ian all afternoon as there are some 40 vendors offering yearlings by 66 individual sires at the sale. That is an amazing statistic in itself and provides buyers with a choice and expansive menu. Should be a beauty with the sale as usual being convened by the RJC with selling agents Magic Millions. If ever the saying “punch above one’s weigh” is applicable it certainly sits comfortably with the Capricornia Yearling Sale.

Certainly, is sales time as Magic Millions representative James Dawson was out and about at Callaghan Park races last Friday and at Cluden, Townsville on Saturday. For over 30 years contingents of Rockhampton and CQ buyers have been attending the Gold Coast March sale and they will be very active again this year on Monday, March 20 and Tuesday, March 21. Some 388 yearlings will be offered with 80 individual sires represented. The biggest draft is 44 sired by BTR – Better Than Ready. Once again Magic Millions are applying a Queensland Regional Based Buyers Scheme.

“If a buyer spends a minimum of $10,000 on a yearling purchase(s) at the 2023 March Sale they will be eligible to be reimbursed for up to three nights accommodation. This has to be booked through Magic Millions. There is also an upfront accommodation subsidy where regional buyers with a past account record of regularly spending $10,000 per year at a Gold Coast March Sale will receive up to three nights complimentary accommodation up front”, MM’s James Dawson said. All inquiries should be made by contacting Deby Caltabiano on 0401.578522.   

Don’t forget Saturday racing at Callaghan Park this weekend.


By Tony McMahon.

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